It's Top 6 gang. By the end of this post, you'll know who made Top 4.
Cat update...loose and flowing hair just the way I like it. Digging the dress too.
I really enjoyed the Top 6 group dance. Very good indeed. Choreography by Sonya Tayeh. It's very cool when I recognize the work of a choreographer, which I did.
Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined on the panel by Christina Applegate. No saves this week. It's all down to the viewer vote.
Everybody dances three times, so let's get to it.
Tiffany Maher, a 19 year old jazz dancer, is paired with Season 2 champion All Star Benji Schwimmer for Jive choreographed by Jean Marc Genereux. She looks great in this routine. Her personality meshes well wtih Benji, who has an excess of it himself. This was fun choreography with a ton of Jive content and lots of great tricks. They kept the energy up through the whole routine. I haven't seen anyone dance that well with Benji since his little sister Lacey and his cousin Heidi. That was really fantastic. Great way to begin the show. Not only did Tiffany hold her own with personality, she also did extraordinarily well with technique. Her kicks were amazing. And on top of all that, she put her style stamp all over the dance. Well done! Click here if the video doesn't play.
Witney dances solo. She danced a Paso Doble without a partner, but I don't think that wasn't one of her best.
Cole Horibe, a 26 year old martial arts fusion dancer, is paired with Season 8 champion All Star Melanie Moore for Jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. I like Cole. I do. This choreography was really different and quite intriguing. The traditional male and female roles were intertwined and essentially eliminated. Cole's power lifted Melanie, and Melanie's power lifted Cole. I liked the balance in the piece. It was delightfully androgynous. I thought that effectively softened Cole's technique and brought him away from his martial rigidness and into a more defined and flowing jazz style. This was an interesting routine. I'm not sure whether I liked it or not. It made me cock my head to the side.
Chehon dances solo. This was about strength and power. He made a statement with that solo. His emotional growth during the show has been special to watch.
Eliana Girard, a 21 year old ballet dancer, is paired with All Star tWitch Boss from Season 4 for Hip Hop choreographed by Christopher Scott. I don't think she was quite able to relax the turnout of her feet, but I'm not going to pick on that. I thought she was hot and sexy. There were a lot of tricks and movement in that choreography and she managed to keep it mostly clean and squared away. Technically it wasn't great hip hop. But what she did in this routine was be the character. She danced what she was given and she entertained the audience. The judges were lukewarm to it. I think that was mainly because Eliana looked like a ballet dancer trying to dance hip hop. The performance wasn't completely believable, but I still enjoyed because of the interplay between her and tWitch. I think Eliana's strength in this dance was her body positioning in the air.
Tiffany dances solo. She's having a great night. This solo built on the excellent work she did in her Jive with Benji.
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, a 23 year old ballet dancer, is paired with All Star Katherine McCormick from Season 6 for Contemporary choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Sometimes you just have to get lucky with the choreography you're given. And this week Chehon gets a prize with this piece. His lines and extensions were amazing. But set aside the brilliant technique and the incredible choreography and the heart breaking story. None of that matters without the dancers giving themselves over to the piece and bringing the audience into the emotional journey. Check on that. Expression. Passion. Extraordinary. The dance gave me chills. That is what dance is about. Outstanding. A dancer has to give so much of himself to convey the kind of visceral emotion in a piece like that and make it believable. They did that. They made the dance breathe. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Cole dances solo. I find his style so intriguing. There is so much strength, but also finesse in the way he weaves his movement together into a full story.
Witney Carson, an 18 year old Latin ballroom dancer, is joined by All Star Marko Germar from Season 8 for Lyrical Jazz choreographed by Ray Leeper. I really enjoy her versatility. She's a ballroom dancer gang. A Latin ballroom dancer. But all of that is buried when she dances in a piece like this. Technically she looks like she's been trained all her life to dance in this style. Her interpretation of the piece was just wonderful. I wouldn't have thought she had enough life experience to dance that routine, but she immersed herself in it. Her lines and extensions were tremendous. And her connection to Marko was terrific. Great job. Oh, and a nod to Ray Leeper for designing a fantastic piece. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Eliana dances solo. Her hip hop earlier may not have been great, but this solo sure was. Her dancing is so effortless. She adds a wonderful ability to intepret the music and the moment that makes her so engaging.
Cyrus Spencer, a 22 year old animation dancer, is paired with All Star Comfort Fedoke from Season 4 for Hip Hop Dub Step choreographed by Christopher Scott. I don't really know what that means. Ah...it's Cyrus in his element is what that is. Wow. The precision. The crispness. The control. Gang, that was amazing. What you got to see here was Cyrus doing what Cyrus does best, within a choreographed piece. He is so amazing at freestyle. With this routine he demonstrated how he handles his style within a specific context. Comfort added the sexy. Together they told a great story in a style that is fresh and stylish and appealing. I loved the angles and the energy. Great routine. You know what? The only thing I like better than watching Cyrus and Comfort dance together is watching Comfort and tWitch dance together. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Witney and Chehon dance Cha Cha Cha choreographed by Jean Marc Genereux. I expected her to shine in this dance and she did mostly. Chehon tried to do his job as a partner, which was to present a frame for Witney. But this really wasn't comfortable for him. In the side by side work, Witney was great. Unfortunately she had to hold back just a bit so she didn't dance away from Chehon. They even struggled with the lifts, which should have been a strength for Chehon. That's a shame because he was really having a great night until this dance.
Cyrus dances solo. It is such a pleasure to watch this young man move.
Eliana and Cole dance Contemporary choreographed by Mia Michaels. The physicality in this piece was so fierce. The shapes they were asked to make compelled me to watch. It's hard to describe this dance. It was almost feral. The staging of the piece...the lighting and camera work really showed off the pair to the utmost. Their strength...there were several lifts that defy description. This dance was very nearly verbal. I could hear what Mia was trying to say through the way Cole and Eliana moved. I like a lot of things about dance, but when it speaks like that...it lives. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Tiffany and Cyrus dance Broadway choreographed by Spencer Liff. That's too bad Cyrus couldn't get the jacket completely off his arm at the top of the routine. He handled it well though and kept going. Tiffany was the star of the piece for me. She was sexy and and sassy. Technique was important in this routine and Tiffany was all over it. She carried the piece. Cyrus did struggle with the technical parts of the dance, but his personality carried him through. That's not the style Cyrus is going to thrive in professionally, but it's fun to see him give it his all.
Our guests tonight are from AXIS Dance Company. One young man is in a wheel chair. The other is able bodied. Excellent.
Another excellent night of dance. But no time to let it sink in because we've got to eliminate two dancers to get to our Final 4.
In the performance finale...Tiffany, Eliana, Chehon, and Cyrus.
That means Witney and Cole are eliminated.
Hey...two ballet dancers, a jazz dancer, and an animator. Cool.
Check it. Next week's performance finale is on Tuesday. Don't miss it!